Landlord and Letting show – an overview of the event
Tuesday 08 December 2015
Knowledge-thirsty landlords braved a cold and windy November day and the perils of the M6 to gather at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena and gen up on all the latest industry news from various experts at the Landlord and Letting Show.
The well-attended event, which was decked out with assorted exhibition stands offering everything from drainage and ventilation to insurance and finance, played host to some of the most well-informed and experienced people in private housing sector.
So, Simple Landlords Insurance went along on the day to hear their thoughts on some of the biggest challenges and opportunities facing the buy-to-let sector at the moment.
High on the agenda was the controversial Deregulation Act 2015, which came into force in October.
The new legislation means landlords cannot serve a Section 21 notice during the first four months of a tenancy agreement notice before serving the notice, whereas under the old system it could be served at any time. A two-month notice period remains in place.
But this has caused alarm among landlords as it can take between two-six months to evict tenants who ignore a Section 21 notice through the court process so the legislation effectively extends the period a tenant can remain in a property still further.
Sue Christoforou, of Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “Section 21 is a fairly simple process and we are unconvinced where the justification is for the Government’s new position.”
This is a view shared by corporate lawyer Simon Roberts, writing for the Field, Seymour Parkes blog.
He said: “The prevention of service of a section 21 notice during the first four months of a tenancy may be annoying for any landlord who has created a six-month tenancy as it will be practically impossible to time the service of the notice correctly to have the tenant leave at the end of the six months.”
But if discontent over Section 21 is well-established most landlords have welcomed plans set out in the Housing and Planning Act 2015 to see landlords guilty of housing offences banned from letting properties.
Indeed, Sally Lawson, of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, said she would like to see the legislation go further and make the list of all banned lettings agents available to the general public.
She added: “This is important so that, for example, a banned employee cannot go and work somewhere else. The Government says putting out a blacklist of people and making it pubic would be hard because of people having similar names, so more information is needed.”
Landlords and energy performance certificates
And there was more good news from Dave Absalom, of the Residential Landlords Association.
As Mr Absalom explained, under new the Tenants’ Energy Efficiency Improvement Regulations set to come into force from April 2018 landlords will be unable to rent domestic properties to tenants unless they conform to at least an E rating in terms of energy efficiency.
But there are circumstances in which landlords could claim exemption from having to have improvements made to their properties, which he went on to list.
They are as follows:
Work required to bring a property up to an E rating would not be cost-effective
Landlord has taken all the steps within their power to achieve an E rating
Property is listed
Tenant withholds consent for work to be carried out
A surveyor has ruled that improvement work would devalue the property
The outlook for landlords post-budget
It is estimated that more than a million new homes would be needed to begin tackling what has been described as a UK housing crisis and the Government has pledged to build 200,000 each year over the course of the next parliament.
This, combined with punishing tax relief cuts announced in the Housing and Planning Bill, has left many landlords weighing up whether it may be time to sell up and get out.
But Richard Bowser, of Property Investor News, told a crowded lecture area at the event that there are just not enough builders to provide these new homes due to the catastrophic effects of the financial crisis back in 2008.
“Prospects are positive at the moment,” said Richard, “because demand is exceeding supply and the planning system needs significant change which will probably not happen.”
Knowledge is power
Whether you are a rooky landlord or a seasoned veteran, it’s fair to say that you don’t realise what you don’t know until you chat with someone else in the same industry.
And that is what we realised by hearing private-rented sector professionals speaking at the Landlord and Letting Show.
Attending events like this one or your local landlord association meetings is key to being well-informed about your business.
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We want to add value to landlords with interesting news and views! Our Hub includes information and opinions on the housing market from a variety of expert sources – please just be aware it doesn’t always reflect Simple’s opinion, or the products and services we provide.